Up until last year, I only knew the province of Bataan for its hiking trails. My "initiation climb" with an outdoor club was actually in Kairukan Falls in Morong, 16 years ago! :) After a collaboration with Osprey Philippines and the provincial tourism of Bataan, I was introduced to other wonderful places in this province that made me realize how underrated of a destination it is, despite its proximity from Manila. Balanga, its capital can be reached within 2-3 hours depending on traffic or whether taking private or public transportation.
|Sunset from Barangay. Took this photo on a solo hike up the grotto on December 2015.|
Check out this list of hiking and bike trails, plus other destinations and tips on where to go in Bataan! I also want to share that other than the places itself, I am also promoting responsible outdoor travel, the core of which is in this old quote, "Take nothing but pictures, Leave nothing but footprints, Kill nothing but time." I'm sharing information with high hopes that you'll visit these places and gain more appreciation for nature and respect for people, places and fellow travelers.
Tarak Ridge (Brgy. Alas-Asin, Mariveles) - this old and frequented hiking destination is part of Mt. Mariveles and takes 5-6 hours to reach. Its main draw are the stops to Papaya river (where you can dip in its icy water) and the ridge's scenic view of Corregidor and other nearby islands. (Itinerary here.) From the campsite at the ridge, there is a peak 30 minutes away offering views of other sections of Mt. Mariveles.
|Making our way to a peak near Tarak Ridge 30 minutes away|
Mt. Natib (Brgy. Tala, Orani, Bataan)- Classified by PHIVOLCS as a potentially active volcano, you will find lots of big rocks and thick flora along trail, but no fumaroles. It is notorious for its steep trails to the summit that'll take about 3.5-5 hours to reach (depending on the group's pace) and limatik-infested trail (leeches). A side trip to Pasukulan falls (information below) can be combined with a hike to Mt. Natib. Itinerary here.
For a more challenging hike, you can do a traverse from Mt. Natib to Sitio Kanawan, an Aeta community in Morong, that will take about 12 hours to complete (blogged about it here). If you have acrophobia like me, the hanging bridge before the main road will be another highlight of your adventure. :P
|Group shot at the summit of Mt. Natib taken during our hike in 2013. Photo from pinoymountaineer.com.|
After your hike, you can also take a sidetrip to Sisiman lighthouse. The area near the shore is also great spot to watch the sunset. The entire barangay appears to glow during the golden hour, a very relaxing sight! For more information on San Miguel Peak, check out this very helpful post from Filipina Explorer.
|A view of San Miguel peak (that hill on the left) from the side of the road.|
|Scenic view of nearby peaks in one of the resting areas near the summit of Mt. Malasimbo|
Related Post : Looloo | 7 Reasons Why Bataan Should be your Next Destination
Notes : Hiking time mentioned on this post are the average time. Ultimately, your own hike would depend on your level of fitness and your group's pace. To maximize your hiking adventure, it is recommended to train before a hike. Train harder if it's a major hike for your own safety and the group's. Some ways to prepare for day hikes are stairs climbing (some do it with a backpack but be careful not to injure your back), running or using an elliptical machine, 3x a week for at least 30 minutes. Swimming is also good but you also need to do some running so you can work on your knees. If you're doing multi-day hikes, training with weights would also be helpful.
Travel Reminder : If nature inspires you to hike or travel, help preserve what Mother Nature has to offer. Leave no trace. Don’t write on rock formation or tree trunks. This is an eyesore and a selfish way of leaving a mark.
|Ambon Ambon Falls|
Check out Love Mindanao's account of our hiking adventure last April 3, 2016.
Kairukan Falls (Morong)
Pasukulan Falls (Abucay) - another hiking trail on my list, specifically for its lush trail. For more information, check out this post from Turista Travels . This can be your main destination or a side trip after hiking Mt. Natib.
Dunsulan Falls (Pilar) - located at the foot of Mt. Samat, this 9-meter falls is a gentle hike. Aside from bathing, other activities include riding a 540-meter zipline and horseback riding. Check out GMA's video feature below.
Responsible Travel Tip : Bring your own trash bag or dispose your waste properly.
Bataan's infamous bike trail is the Killer Loop. Art Fuentes of Outside Slacker, provided this description of the route, "technical climbs, flowy descents, bone-rattling downhills, fantastic views of mountains, rolling hills and seas– the Killer Loop has got it all."Check out the rest of his review on his blog, Outside Slacker.
For information on mountain biking in Bataan, check out think link. You may also get in touch with Bataan Trailriders and Adventurers Network on Facebook.
Other Places to Visit in Bataan
Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar (Brgy. Pag-asa, Bagac)- recommended for architecture and history enthusiasts, this heritage park and convention center, provides a glimpse of 18th century Philippines, showcasing about 40 intricately reconstructed heritage houses. Guided day tours start at 1,500-2,00 Pesos net/person depending on the inclusions. Spending a night or two is also highly recommended albeit justifiably expensive. (Rates range from 6,500 Pesos-150,000 Pesos/night depending on room or house).
Book via Agoda here.
|at Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar|
1,500 Pesos net / per person
Inclusions : Welcome drink, 30 minutes to 1 hour guided Heritage walking tour, Entrance fee and use of beach area, Vicinity map, Cold towel
2,000 Pesos net/person (Minimum of 5 PAX)
Inclusions : Walking tour, River cruise, Kalesa ride, Access to Hotel De Oriente and Family lunch
Overnight packages are also available.
For reservation and additional info, visit their website.
How to get to Las Casa Filipinas de Acuzar?
Due to its location in Bagac, bringing a private vehicle is recommended. Using public transpo is also doable but tiring and involves several transfers, commuting directions are on this blog.
Mt. Samat National Shrine (Brgy. Diwa, Pilar)
Completed in 1970, this mountaintop memorial is dedicated to the American and Filipino soldiers who fought during World War II. The shrine consists of a 92 meter memorial cross with a viewing gallery and a colonnade, esplanade and war museum. The location itself, carries a historical value. Mt. Samat was one of the battlegrounds between Filipino and American soldiers against the Japanese Imperial Army. Today, it serves and offers sweeping views of other municipalities, nearby mountains and the West Philippine sea.
Opening Hours : 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM, daily
Entrance Fee : 20 PHP (Parking fee is at 20-30 PHP depending on vehicle type)
For more photos and info on Mt. Samat, check out this post from Lakad Pilipinas. Click here.
Did you know that mangroves are home to fish, crab, shrimps and mollusk species? It also protects the coast from erosion brought by waves and storm by trapping sediments from rivers and land (Source : WWF).
Address : Barangay Tortugas, Balanga City
Entrance Fee : 5 PHP!
Commuting directions and additional information on Filipina Explorer.
|Balanga Wetland's mangrove trail. Photo taken by EAZYtraveler.net|
|Outside Bataan's Nuclear Powerplant facility|
Entrance Fee : 20 PHP (Check out Lakwatsero.me visit here. The blog was posted in 2011 but it's still very similar on how the place looked when we visited December 2015.)
Bataan Tourism Center (Balanga) - located along the Roman Highway, Bataan's major highway where public bus and vehicles pass by. It more than just an office, it's a destination itself, featuring a gallery, landscaped garden and a souvenir shop selling affordable products from Bataan such as bottled fish, shrimp paste, arrowroot cookies, mussel chips, cashew nuts and more!
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Number : +63 (047) 237 4785
Facebook Page : Bataan Tourism
Website : 1Bataan
Related Posts :
Part 2 : Where to eat in Bataan | Part 3 : Where to Stay in Bataan
Travel Up : Bataan Travel Guide
Lakad Pilipinas : Bataan posts
Turista Trails : 5 Reasons Why Bataan Deserves your Visit More than Once (I agree!)
Byahe ni Drew also posted an itinerary here.
If you know other places in Bataan for a good outdoor adventure, just send me a tweet, @Jovialwanderer. I'm also on Instagram, click here to get to my feed directly. :)
Acknowledgments : This post was made in collaboration with the Provincial Tourism of Bataan and Osprey Philippines. Thank you for hosting me! :)